The Walking Dead will return in October with Season 9. The Season 9 trailer for The Walking Dead will likely premiere at Comic-Con International later in July, but AMC has recently released the poster, and it has a major reveal.
Ever since the show’s peak with Season 5, The Walking Dead’s ratings have been in a steep downward spiral, as reported by Forbes. The Walking Dead Season 8 saw half the viewers they garnered with Season 5. The massive drop in ratings can be attributed to a few things. Some fans now wait for the show to air on Netflix, so they can binge-watch the entire season, and others watch it illegally on less than honest streaming platforms. These theories don’t stand that firmly however, because many shows, like Game of Thrones, have seen an increase in viewership year after year.
Most experts feel that the decline of popularity with The Walking Dead is due to poor writing and undesirable characters, like the largely panned CGI tiger, Shiva. Carl Grimes was a character loved by many. While this is not as popular to document, the character also had a massive group of haters, especially after Season 5, which is reflected in Funny or Die. Various rumors continue to circulate on why Chandler Riggs’ character was killed off, but regardless of the reason, Carl and Shiva met their demise in Season 8.
Another huge change occurred toward the end of last season; Angela Kang, a writer for The Walking Dead since Season 2, was promoted last January as the new showrunner for the series. Kang has promised that Season 9 will bring the story back to an essence of the fourth and fifth seasons, and she has also said that she will focus on great stories for the women, as documented by the San Francisco Gate. Change is certainly on its way. A look at the new poster reveals one critical change that appears to be coming, and it’s not that Rick Grimes got a haircut or that Maggie grew her hair out.
In the poster for The Walking Dead Season 9, a crumbling United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is shown, as is a helicopter that’s presumed to be the same mysterious chopper from Season 8. Assuming the characters do make their way to D.C., which is just miles away from Alexandria, Virginia, this is a huge departure from the comics. D.C. is briefly mentioned in the comics by Glenn, who reported that it’s as bad as anywhere else, but other than that, it’s not a focal point in the story. We also see that Maggie is missing her baby bump in the poster, and Kang previously hinted to a time-jump in Season 9.
The fact that The Walking Dead may be departing from the comics could be a good thing. This not only signals a fresh start for the weathered series, it will also allow for plenty of surprises to take place, and the overall show will be far less predictable. It would also be stunning imagery to show the nation’s capital littered with zombies. No doubt, our group of survivors will likely encounter another group, so a new setting would be a welcomed one for many viewers. Many fans are simply tired of Alexandria, and some fans feel that the show keeps using the same old formula.
Warning: The following paragraphs contains a potential major spoiler for Season 9 of The Walking Dead.
As far as breaking away from the same old formula, shifting the story’s focus to the female characters would be a step in a different direction. They will have plenty of room to work with if one particular rumor turns out to be true. As the Inquisitr documented, reportedly, there has been a major leak for Season 9, and it looks like Rick Grimes may not make it out of the season alive, or even past the fifth episode.
In the long run, all of these changes could be a positive one for the AMC series. Rick is a major character, but it seems Daryl is more popular these days. With Grimes gone, Daryl may be given a chance to shine more. If fans were tired of the same old stuff week in and week out, a new setting and a focus on other characters could come as a welcomed shift for the series.
They will likely never get the viewers they lost back in full, as that’s nearly impossible to do these days. Once a fan has moved on, in a world with seemingly endless amounts of entertaining shows and programs to turn to, it’s hard to get them to return. But The Walking Dead may get a good percentage of their former fans back with Season 9, and possibly some new ones as well.